A view of the Seattle’s International District from Columbia Tower. • Photo by Travis Quezon
A view of the Seattle’s International District from Columbia Tower. • Photo by Travis Quezon

Initiatives approved by voters last year will increase King County property taxes in 2016 to pay for additional investments in early childhood development, emergency services, and transportation. Nearly 53 percent of property tax revenue will pay for schools.

King County Treasury collects property taxes on behalf of the state, cities, and taxing districts, and then distributes the revenue to local governments. King County property tax bills will be mailed February 12.

New levies approved in 2015 include:

• Best Starts for Kids to invest in prevention and early intervention services to improve the health and well-being of children, youth and families across King County.

• Creating the Puget Sound Emergency Radio Network to provide local emergency responders with more modern and reliable communication tools.

The Move Seattle Levy that invests in road maintenance, improving transit service, rehabilitating bridges, and making our sidewalks, streets, and other structures safer.

While individual property taxes vary depending upon location, property taxes went up 9.35 percent at the aggregate level, according to the Office of the King County Assessor. Countywide, property tax billings will be $4.5 billion in 2016, up from $4.1 billion from last year. It’s the primary funding source for schools, public safety, parks and libraries.

The amount of revenue growth at local governments is capped at 1 percent except for revenue from new construction. About 19 cents of every property tax dollar supports services provided by King County government, while 18 cents goes to local cities.

To avoid interest and penalties, the first half property taxes must be paid or postmarked by May 2, 2016. The second half property taxes must be paid or postmarked by October 31, 2016.

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